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1.5GHz Mac minis
Apple has apparently begun shipping Mac minis with 1.5GHz G4 processors. Customers who recently ordered the top-of-the-line 1.42GHz model instead received the updated machine. Users claiming to have received 1.5GHz machines indicate that it ships with a 64MB Radeon 9200 video card and an 8x SuperDrive. If Apple has indeed transitioned to 1.5GHz chips for its high-end Mac mini, it would end weeks of speculation about a quiet rollout. Apple has not updated its Mac mini literature, nor has it updated the Apple Store to reflect any changes to the Mac mini lineup.
A recent report by market research firm IDC gives Apple high marks for its efforts in the enterprise storage and server markets. IDC analysts said the competition is starting to take note of what Apple is doing in the enterprise market. "Their focus has been in a couple of key verticals, especially in markets like digital media -- you can't go anywhere without having Apple in that market," said IDC analyst Kelly Quinn. "They have done a really good job of penetrating that market -- some of the scientific and technical markets are a crossover from that because of the high-powered computing aspects."
Mac teacher receives award
One of the most technologically advanced media facilities in a Canadian high school is using Macintosh systems, and the teacher behind it has received the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence, one of the most prestigious awards for Canadian teachers. Kevin Harrison, who has taught for 22 years in B.C. Canada, received the award on May 23, 2003. Harrison worked with the camera club at the high school, and pitched the principal about transforming the daily teacher-read announcements into a 10-minute live news broadcast. "The first show was a runaway success. Kids wanted to be part of it," Harrison said.
Apple says no convergence
Apple senior vice president and executive team member Jon Rubinstein believes the iPod, cell phone and digital camera will all continue to cater to their individual markets for at least another 10 years. "Most people still take photographs with their digital camera rather than their cellphone," Rubinstein said. "And there's a simple reason: digital cameras take better pictures." When asked whether Apple has considered a re-entry into the PDA market by evolving the iPod, both Rubinstein and Apple vice president Phil Schiller seemed strongly opposed, according to Apple Insider. Schiller explained that PDA's are a niche market for specialized applications, and that basic functions of PDAs, such as date planners and address books, have been available on most cell phones for a long time. "PDA's would not be good business for Apple," Schiller said.
Apple workgroup clusters
Apple today rolled out its workgroup cluster offering designed for scalability and easy deployment/management. Featuring Xserve G5 systems, Foundry EdgeIron switches, Xrack PRO2 or APC VX racks, and APC Smart-UPS units with power distribution and Ethernet cables included. Software consists of Mac OS X Server, Apple Remote Desktop, and Xcode including GCC 4. Additional optional software is offered: iNquiry, gridMathematica, and MATLAB. AppleCare premium service and support on each node is provided, along with a three-year hardware warranty, 24-7 tech support, and four-hour on-site response. (Pricing varies depending on model and customer type.) [updated]
Object Zoom 1.0 released
Dacons today released ObjectZoom XTensions for QuarkXPress, which eliminate tedious zooming. Object Zoom 1.0 considers the maximum free space between QuarkXPress palettes on the screen, preventing anchor points from hiding behind floating palettes after zooming. Features include box zooms for selected boxes or a particular part of a box, page and spread zooms for specific pages or spreads, a hide all palettes option for maximum viewing space, save and recall zoom views for quick access, and more. ObjectZoom is available for $100 and requires Mac OS 10.2 or higher with QuarkXPress 6.1 or later.
In brief: The Apple store is offering a free engraving when purchasing an iPod shuffle on the side of the device, allowing one line with 40 characters or less.... "Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition" ($25) by O'Reilly press has been released.... The creators of Photoshop Elements Techniques newsletter launched two new online Learning Centers, as well as a series of new online courses.... Extensis announced the Pro Photo Digital Workflow seminar, to start on October 2nd in Miami, Florida at the Sheraton Miami Mart Hotel for $150 with pre-registration.... Roxio is hosting a special Roxio 7 event at the Apple Store SoHo (and other locations) on Saturday, October 1st, featuring product demos, a Q&A with members of the Toast team, and special drawings for prizes and offering a free limited edition Toast 7 t-shirt with purchase of the title.
Erik Vlietinck has released a new eBook that shows how to tap the power of Spotlight, "Mastering Mac OS X 10.4 Spotlight Search Technology". The tutorial shows how to create queries with several different options not available from the regular search entry fields; displays making an "OR" query that looks for files with one qualifier or the other; covers creating smart folders and maintaining them; and goes over setting preferences. The Mastering Mac OS X 10.4 Spotlight Search Technology eBook Tutorial contains 20 pages, and is available for €3.50.
JetPhoto Studio, Silica
JetPhoto Studio 2.1 (free) is an efficient digital photo organizing and Web publishing platform, which provides album storage, photo organization, set searchable keywords and notes, a calendar, GPS tracking, and more.
[Download - 10.2MB]
ecOrganizer 2.0v3 ($100) is a FileMaker Pro diary, contact, and project management system with optional modules for quoting, invoicing, and time/cost management. Version 2.0v3 offers updates for FileMaker Pro 7 and 8, as well as various improvements and bugfixes. [Download - 2.0MB]
Silica 1.1 (free) is a light-weight caller-id application with customization options. Silica provides a "heads-up display" of who is calling--similar to the Mac OS X brightness adjustment feedback, showing the telephone number and (if applicable) the name of the incoming caller. [Download - 219KB]
FireStarter FX 1.0b10 (free) easily backs up CDs that Disc-Copy and Roxio Toast cannot, burns ISO and cue/bin files, allows "overburning", and more. New features include the ability to burn 90, 99, and 100 minute CDs as well as cleaner code and numerous bugfixes. [Download - 2.8MB]
pagesender 3.5.2 ($30) faxes or emails anything that can be printed. Using a built-in pagesender Fax Center to manage and automate fax activities. The update offers live addressing with Address Book, usage of any font on the system, automation of faxes with Applescript, and more. [Download - 4.3MB]
Unlockupd 1.0 (free) works around a bug in lookupd, a system service which is required for proper operation of Mac OS X. When lookupd fails, the system quickly becomes unusable. Unlockupd periodically checks lookupd's status and forces it to restart should it fail. [Download - 31KB]
Unity 1.1.1 released
OTEE today announced another update to its 3D game development platform, Unity. Unity 1.1.1 includes the complete "Racing Game Tutorial" introduction to scripting with Unity, documentation with examples for "virtually everything", support for Maya 7.0 file importing, and stability/quality/performance improvements. Support for Cheetah3D 2.4 file importing is also incorporated, and shader quality improvements have been implemented, especially for low end cards. A host of performance, stability, and usability improvements are also provided with version 1.1.1. The upgrade is free for existing customers. Unity 1.1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.3 and is available for $250.
120GB EZ Bus
Apricorn announced today 120GB capacity enhancements to the EZ Bus storage solution. Its sleek design is smaller than a PDA and weighs six ounces. This hot swappable, plug-and-play device contains a 4200rpm hard drive and comes complete with USB cable, auxiliary power cable, travel pouch, and an extensive software bundle including EZ Gig II Backup and Disaster Recovery software, Cryptainer Encryption software and Second Copy Synchronizing software. The 120GB capacity is 9.5mm, has a 8MB cache buffer, and is built to comply with RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) standards. The EZ Bus 120GB sells for $330.
Apple is hosting a series of events called "Affordable Storage Solutions for Business." These events are co-hosted by Qlogic, BakBone, and ADIC. Apple hopes to reach out to the enterprise storage market with the events in five cities: Boston, Chicago, San Jose, Denver and New York. The his briefing is designed for senior IT and information managers who "need to address the growing demand for affordable storage with limited IT resources." In Chicago, onShore Networks, an Apple Network Integration VAR, will be on-site to discuss Apple storage, server, and SAN solutions.
Media Rage 2.2
Chaotic Software today announced version 2.2 of Media Rage, its collection of tools for media enthusiasts using Mac OS X. Media Rage reads and edits information stored in MP3, AAC, FLAC, BWF, AIFF, WAVE, and Ogg Vorbis audio files while assisting in cataloging, organizing, sorting, and updating thousands of media files. New features include EXIF tag reading from digital camera image files, Unicode reading/writing, multi-threaded code for improved responsiveness, artwork searching, flexible catalog creator, data hover to move/swap/replace data from one field to another, media scrubber for viewing/managing media files, Dashboard and toolbar window for quick access to over 20 tools, and more. Media Rage requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 and is available for $30.
Lexar Media today announced the availability of JumpDrive Secure II, a second generation USB flash drive featuring 256-bit AES Encryption to secure folders and files so consumers can easily store and protect valuable files. JumpDrive Secure II offers a dashboard onscreen interface that makes it easy for consumers to navigate the drive's advanced security features. Users can quickly create secure files on either the USB flash drive or on the host computer using the new unique 'Encrypted Vault' feature. Another new feature of the Secure II software is the File Shredder that discards files including the 'digital trail' normally left behind when files are deleted. Files that have been deleted using the File Shredder feature are wiped out and cannot be recovered by file recovery tools.
StudioPro 3 speakers
M-Audio today unveiled its StudioPro 3 professional desktop audio monitors, offering MDF cabinets rather than plastic, fiberglass insulation for better bass response, and custom port design for optimal efficiency. The StudioPro 3's 3.25-inch low-frequency drivers feature a curved cone for improved linearity, acoustic foam damping for optimal efficiency, and a high-temperature voice coil for longevity. The specially developed one-inch high-frequency domes deliver natural response and feature unique internal damping technology to minimize unwanted resonances. Specifications for the StudioPro 3 include 100Hz - 20kHz plus/minus 3 dB frequency response, 2.3kHz crossover frequency, greater than 80dB dynamic range (typical, A-weighted), input impedance of 10k ohms unbalanced and input sensitivity of 90dBA SPL at 1 meter with 100mV pink noise input (volume control at maximum). StudioPro 3 is expected to ship by the end of September for $100.
A key executive from Apple is set to attend the Royal National Institute of the Blind's international technology conference, Techshare 2005. Senior Product Manager for Apple Mac OS X, Mike Shebanek, will be a keynote speaker and pre-conference workshop presenter. Shebanek is responsible for the management and development of key features and technologies within the operating system, including Mac OS X Tiger's integrated screen reader technology called VoiceOver for people with sight problems. The conference, held in Birmingham, UK on November 17-18, will be running dedicated Apple Voiceover pre-conference workshops on November 16th. Visitors can get hands-on experience with Voiceover and get training from Mike Shebanek himself. The conference will be held at the Jury's Inn, Birmingham with early-bird pricing of £195 for the full conference, or £130 for a single day. Costs after October 1st are £240 for the full conference or £150 for a single day.
PowerLogix legacy Macs
PowerLogix and Other World Computing are now offering a 900MHz PowerForce 750GX G3 upgrade for legacy Macs. The $140 kit will upgrade PCI- based Macs including PowerMac 7300, 7500, 7600, 8500, 8600, 9500 and 9600 models, as well as select Power Computing and Umax clones. The upgrade includes 512K of L2 cache also running at 900MHz. The PowerForce 1 Gigahertz (GHz) PowerForce 750GX G3 featuring 1MB of L2 Cache also is available for $210. ""Computers people thought were aging beyond the ability to use Apple's latest advances are still viable," said Larry O'Connor, president of Other World Computing, master distributor for PowerLogix. "Even without using software like XPostFacto to use Apple's Tiger OS, this upgrade makes applications running under OS 8.6 to OS 9.2.2 fly like never before."
Safend today began shipping Safend Protector, a new solution that provides "comprehensive and tamper-proof" endpoint security. It controls data access from the physical ports of enterprise endpoints, such as USB, FireWire, WiFi, Bluetooth, Infrared (IrDA), and CD/DVDs. "Data is as susceptible to theft or introduction of malicious code via removable media as the Internet," said Gil Sever, CEO of Safend. "We developed Safend Protector to give IT managers iron-clad control over enterprise endpoints, yet keep access management simple. Managers can set policies regarding which user can connect which peripheral device across all communication ports, and be sure those policies are enforced with the industry's strongest tamper-resistant lockdown." Operating at the kernel level IT managers can set "granular policies" regarding peripheral device connectivity. Anti-tampering features make modifying or removing the software "virtually impossible" for end-users. Safend said it is the first security company to fully address the "substantial risks" associated with unauthorized use of a computer system's endpoints.
Google Video service
Google has improved its Google Video service by eliminating the need for users to download software to play back videos, bringing support for both Linux and Mac users. The site now enables users to playback videos directly within a web browser without the need for additional software, according a company announcement on its seventh birthday. "There's no viewer to download, and the bigger video window (which expands automatically to your browser size) is now compatible with Mac and Linux as well as Windows. You can skip around in the video and start watching it instantly, even beyond what's been buffered. And you can watch a 10-second snippet of playable videos right on the results page - making it easier to decide whether you want to commit to the whole thing." In addition, Google is offering the series premiere of the UPN television network's "Everybody Hates Chris" show.
Apple inks $1.2M edu deal
Apple has signed a four-year, $1.2 million deal to provide leased Apple equipment to the Detroit Public Schools, following initial reports last month. the Apple equipment, which includes 780 laptpos, iPods, digital cameras, and computer software, will be used for a new small technology-focused school inside Crockett High School, according to The Detroit News: "Apple in turn will give the district more than 100 days worth of technology and teaching support, including on-site help in classrooms as teachers and students learn to use the laptops... Detroit is using federal dollars to pay for the lease....The district will get about 780 laptops, as well as iPods, digital cameras and computer software. About 240 of the computers will go to the freshman class of the new Detroit Digital Learning Community High School at Crockett. And another 14 Detroit middle schools will get the remaining laptops, in hopes that many of those students go on to enroll in the new school once they get older. "
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